According to Forbes magazine, “student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category – behind only mortgage debt – and higher than both credit cards and auto loans and according to Make Lemonade, there are more than 44 million borrowers with $1.3 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone. The average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt.”
Law360, a legal publication that covers a wide range of practice areas and topics, conducted a Satisfaction Survey of lawyers to ascertain how student loan debt affects today’s practitioners.
According to their data:
1. There was a correlation between high levels of debt and high levels of stress among lawyers.
2. Nearly a third of attorneys who graduated within the past five years reported having six-figure student debt, and attorneys in this category were more likely to report that they feel stressed all the time. Debt also correlates with delays in major life events like marriage or having children, as well as a desire to leave a current job.
3. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents who had accumulated between $100,000 and $250,000 in student loans said they had to delay a major life event for financial reasons. That number jumped to 78 percent for those with more than $250,000 in student debt.
4. The portion of attorneys borrowing more than $100,000 for their education hit 60 percent in recent years, up from 26 percent during the 1990s, a Gallup poll has found. And the average median starting salary for 2016 law school graduates, according to the National Association for Law Placement, was $65,000.